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If You Seek a Heavenly Light

If You Seek a Heavenly Light

Poem by Thomas Merton
Offset Lithographic Illustration by Virginia Mudd

Thomas Merton has guided, instructed and inspired my most significant life journey: the spiritual quest. The image of ancient Stonehenge accompanying the text (reproduced from an original watercolor) contains the same power and spirit of Silence that Merton speaks of.

The poem is hand set in the Goudy Thirty typeface and printed by letterpress. The binding is a decorated paper over boards. The paper came from Thailand, where Thomas Merton died in 1968. (The text is linked at the bottom of this page.)

Eight pages including covers, 4 3/8 x 8 1/2 inches
If you seek a heavenly light,
I, Solitude, am your professor:
I go before you into emptiness,
Raise strange suns for your new mornings,
Open the secret windows
Of your innermost apartment.

When, I, loneliness, give my special signal
Follow my silence, follow where I beckon:
Fear not, little beast, little spirit,
(Thou word & animal)
I, Solitude, am Angel
And have prayed in your name.

Look at the empty, wealthy night
The pilgrim moon!
I am the appointed hour,
The 'now' that cuts
Time like a blade.

I am the unexpected flash
Beyond 'yes' and 'no,'
The forerunner of the Word of God.

Follow my ways and I will lead you
To golden-haired suns,
Logos and music, blameless joys,
Innocent of questions
And beyond answers.

For I, Solitude, am thine own Self:
I, Nothingness, am Thy All.
I, Silence, am thy 'Amen.'